Banks, again

Synchrony Bank

Over the years I’ve accumulated quite a few “store card” credit accounts managed by GE Financial, now operating as Synchrony Bank. As I am wont to do with financial institutions, I got into a disagreement with them about one of the accounts last night – the Amazon store card. I tried to log in and verify a recent transaction. It told me that I needed a security code to complete the login.

I get these messages often from most of the companies that I do online business with, presumably due to my insistence on using a VPN for all internet traffic.  Most use text or email as the verification method. Synchrony only offered text or voice. I chose text, but nothing ever came through.  So I chose voice. The phone never rang, but a minute later a voicemail notification popped up. The message prompted me to press 1 to hear the code, and since it was a voicemail, I couldn’t do that. I tried several more times and the same thing happened every time. I assumed phone difficulties, so I called in.

After wasting almost twenty minutes on hold, I finally got a person. Early in the conversation, dude asked if it was a Google Voice or other VOIP number. Of course it is. I don’t give out my actual number to businesses for the same reason I use a VPN. When I refused to give my “real” number, he said he could unlock the account if I go through an alternate verification process that included taking a video of myself and submitting a copy of my ID. I thought that they’d allow me to use the VOIP number after completing this process, so I started it, figuring they already had my ID with picture from when I opened the account, so whatever.

About the time I got far enough through the process to get an error saying that the system couldn’t read my ID (which had to be state-issued – it wouldn’t accept a passport card) dude told me that this whole process was just for that night’s unlock. I still wouldn’t be able to use the VOIP number for future unlock needs, which I would definitely need. At that point, I was done.

Absent an email unlock option, fuck Synchrony Bank. I curtly ended the call and scheduled a payment for what I know is the full current balance, even if I couldn’t verify said balance. I’ll be closing the account as soon as that payment posts. Since then, I’ve closed PayPal Credit, BP, Lowe’s, Discount Tire, Generac, and Synchrony’s Car Care line of credit.


BBVA was recently acquired by PNC Bank, with whom I had issues a decade and a half ago when they were still RBC Bank. Obviously I wasn’t happy to hear this news. I closed my checking and savings accounts with them a year or so ago when they froze my account for suspected fraud because I made multiple payments during a single statement period. I kept the credit card account open pending another act of stupid. They did it this past weekend.

I woke up Saturday afternoon to a voicemail from BBVA’s fraud department. Seems that someone got enough of my information to attempt a couple of transactions. BBVA declined the transactions, but I wanted a new card number just to be safe. In order to do this, they require verification via text message. They already had me on the phone, had verified enough to talk to me, but flat out refused to issue a new card without a text verification. Not normally a problem, but no text ever came through. Probably for the same reason that Synchrony didn’t like my phone number. No other option was possible.

“Can you close the account completely without said verification?”


“Do it.”

And that ended my business dealings with BBVA/PNC.

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2 Responses to Banks, again

  1. Larry says:

    I had a Care Credit card through Synchrony. With a zero balance they canceled me because of a negative credit report. Fukkem.

    In other news, if you ever get a chance to co-sign for a student loan…hit yourself in the nuts with a hammer instead. It will be less painful.

    • alaskan454 says:

      At least Synchrony is consistently an asshole to everyone.

      Yeah, no. I don’t like anyone well enough to co-sign for any type of loan. I might loan the money directly, but I try to limit my dealings with financial institutions.

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